Sure, content matters. But there’s one thing that can make or break a story — the structure!
Here are three ways to make your story stick in the minds of your audience.
1. Compelling Opening Statement:
You want to grab the listener’s attention right away. It can be something as simple as “true story” or “let me tell you a story.” Or you could set the scene with descriptive language to take the listener on a journey.
2. The Winning Formula:
Stories should always have a clear beginning, middle, and end. One approach is “The Hero’s Journey,” by Joseph Campbell. It’s the basis of pretty much every epic saga – Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lion King, etc.
Think of the beginning as the past situation or status quo. The middle as some sort of action or event that brings about a change and reaches a climax. The end is the final resolution and the new status quo.
3. Have a Point:
We all know that one person who tells rambling stories that seem to go nowhere. Don’t be that person! Treat your story as if you’re telling a joke, where it’s building towards a punchline. Your story should drop clues along the way that ultimately build up to that punchline or central message. In fact, think of the point of the story first. Then work backwards to build up to it.
Storytelling is a powerful skill to have in your arsenal. Master it and you will actually see tangible results. It may be new clients, acing that job interview, or simply unseating that uncle as the epic storyteller in the family. Whatever your flavor, start practicing today!